Sunday, August 24, 2014

It’s the Spirit That Counts

The beginning of Shadow’s story is as equally sad and unjust as the beginning of any other story of a tiny, abandoned, abused wee kitty baby with the additional misfortune of being black who had obviously been unimportant and had gone unnoticed since
she was born into this cruel, insensitive world. Compassion appears to be hard to find these days; in these times of overall crisis and financial hardships, it seems that caring, unselfish people are as rare as unicorns and things are only getting worse. Hundreds if
not thousands of pets are being dumped into the streets, unwanted litters of owned queens are tossed into trash bins and only the most fortunate ones manage to cheat death at the last possible moment, when some noble person comes to their
rescue. But these lifesaving gestures of kindness and love are becoming infrequent and too few and far between…

Apparently invisible to many, Shadow somehow appeared in the flea market when she was maybe a month old at the
most. No one knew where she came from or what had happened to her. Obviously away from her Mom for a while, she was scared, emaciated, painfully skinny and couldn’t even eat solid food yet, although it’s questionable if she couldn’t or just didn’t want to because she
was already giving up. Oblivious and uncaring people at the market had been kicking her and stomping on her for hours, until one of the sellers scooped her up and hid her under their stall. where she spent a couple of days before I learned of her existence.

And then the real fight for her life began. The poor little muffin could barely walk, one of her hind legs was injured, she was stumbling and falling a lot and was spending most of her time just lying down. She was extremely reluctant to eat, so I
was force-feeding her baby kitten milk, of which she would swallow a little between struggling and spitting. No one could tell for sure if she was going to make it as things definitely hadn’t been looking exactly promising from the start. That’s when she
got the very first name of her own – our friend Kim named her Shadow since she was just a thin little wisp of black that was barely there.

A couple of days later she started vomiting and I quickly rushed her to the vet to see what was going on. It
turned out that her body temperature had dropped to a dangerous 35.4C but she exhibited no other symptoms, she had no eye discharge and her throat looked normal. Utterly weak and exhausted, she weighted only 190 grams, but she couldn’t be dewormed
while she was so fragile, as any deworming medicine could’ve easily killed her. After receiving warm infusions, antiemetic drugs and antibiotics she seemed to be a little better, but it was still touch and go whether she would manage to pull through.

Just when we began to hope her problems were coming to an end, she went into another major crisis in the middle of the night - she went totally limp, seemed unconscious and looked as if she were dying. Her body temperature was 36.6
C and it was possible that whatever virus she was fighting had already damaged her brain. The vet told me that even if she survived she might have some permanent neurological disorder, but as long as she was alive, nothing else mattered. At one point we thought she
was blinded in one eye and that her wobbly gate could be a consequence of some neurological condition, but the worse she looked, the harder all of us fought to save her. It may sound like a paradox but the old saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get
going” undoubtedly bears much truth…

Our tiny, starved and abused baby sweetheart beat the odds. As soon as she had a home and felt love for the first time in her short, sad time in this world, she learned that life could be worth living and
fought with all her might. Day by day, step by step she kept improving, slowly but steadily and after maybe two scary weeks of her exhausting, desperate struggle to live, the vet finally gave her the green light. Her eyesight is not damaged after all, her
movements have became flowing and she is now growing into a mischievous, naughty, joyful kitty which is very understandably spoiled rotten.

Shadow is approximately four months old and not solid black anymore;
her coat is scattered with white hairs but her sweet face, although more mature, is almost the same. She’s still living in the house even though she seems eager to go outside, but the wide world she expects to find will be limited to the yard. Extremely
friendly towards other cats, she is having a great time playing with her protector and teacher Tinker Bell and both of them are incessantly poking their black little noses into everything. But Shadow is not just a silly, playful kitty girl, she is a true fighter with an incredible and
intense desire to live, she’s a precious little creature who’s been to hell and back and proven to be tough as steel when it mattered the most. Maybe she remembers what she’s been through, maybe she doesn’t, but none of us here who have had the privilege to be by her
side while she was fighting her way up to the light will ever forget her amazing inner strength.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful to see little Shadow now a majestic young lady - after all her early months of enduring lots of ill health after initially being abused at the market; Danica has done such a wonderful job with her by providing such care, love and attention. All credit to you both for your survival instinct.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad she is doing better! I was worried it was going to be another sad update. :(

sammy77 said...

Hello, to all the people involved in the felix cat shelter you are amazing people and we need more people like you in this world.
Where are you located i would like to come visit, i live in Novi Sad serbia. I cannot find your contact details
It would be great for your reply
Thank you
My email is